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Wet Dream FAQ

Have you ever woken up to find a wet, sticky spot on your underwear or PJs? At first you may have worried that you wet the bed. But if you're going through or have already gone through puberty, you probably had a wet dream.

Doctors call wet dreams "nocturnal emissions." Nocturnal means "at night." Emission is another way to say release.

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Wonder what wet dreams are and why you have them? Here are the answers to frequently asked questions that teens have about wet dreams.

What are wet dreams?

A wet dream is when you ejaculate while you're asleep. Ejaculate means to release semen (the fluid that contains sperm) from your penis. Usually a wet dream happens while you're having a dream about sex. You may not even remember the dream.

You don't have to masturbate to have a wet dream. You can ejaculate without touching your penis.

What causes wet dreams?

When you go through puberty, your body starts producing the male hormone testosterone. Once your body makes testosterone, it can release sperm. This means you'll be able to fertilize an egg if you decide to have a baby in the future. It also means you can get a girl pregnant if you have sex.

During puberty, you'll start having erections at all different times of the day -- in school, while you watch TV, in the shower. You can even have an erection while you sleep.

Semen can build up inside your body. One way that semen gets released is with a wet dream.

Is there something wrong with me because I'm having frequent wet dreams?

Wet dreams are a normal part of growing up. There's nothing you can do to control or stop wet dreams.

Even if you have a lot of wet dreams it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. Some guys have wet dreams a few times a week. Others may only have a couple of wet dreams during their entire life.

Once you start releasing sperm by masturbating or having sex with a partner, you may have fewer wet dreams.

Does everyone have wet dreams?

You have to go through puberty and your testes need to be able to produce sperm to have a wet dream. Wet dreams during puberty are very common.

Is there something wrong with me if I don't have wet dreams?

Not every teenage boy has wet dreams. The fact you don't have wet dreams doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you.

Do girls have wet dreams?

Although girls can't ejaculate, they can have an orgasm during a dream. Girls don't have such dreams as often as boys, though.

What should I do if I have a wet dream?

When you wake up, clean yourself. Wash your penis and testicles with soap and water, including the area underneath your foreskin if you aren't circumcised.

If you feel guilty or uncomfortable about having wet dreams -- or about a certain wet dream that you had -- talk to someone. Sit down with a doctor, parent, counselor, or another adult you trust.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Daniel Brennan, MD on December 21, 2013

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